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Biochemistry. 1990 Jan 30;29(4):1080-7.

Isolation and characterization of cloned cDNAs encoding human liver chlordecone reductase.

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Department of Medicine, Medical College of Virginia, Richmond 23298.


Chlordecone (Kepone), a toxic organochlorine pesticide, undergoes bioreduction to chlordecone alcohol in human liver. This reaction is controlled by a cytosolic enzyme, chlordecone reductase (CDR), which may be of the aldo-keto reductase family of xenobiotic metabolizing enzymes [Molowa et al. (1986) J. Biol. Chem. 261, 12624-12627]. To further investigate the primary structure and expression of CDR, we screened a library of human liver cDNAs cloned in the expression vector lambda gt11 and isolated an 800 bp cDNA that directed synthesis of a fusion protein recognized by polyclonal anti-CDR antibodies. Using this cDNA as a probe, we screened two human liver cDNA libraries and found several 1.2-kb cDNAs which would code for a polypeptide with 308 residues (35.8 kDa). However, a similar full-length cDNA, possibly the transcript of a pseudogene, contained an in-frame nonsense codon. The deduced protein sequence of CDR showed 65% similarity to the primary structure of human liver aldehyde reductase and 66% similarity to the inferred protein sequence of rat lens aldose reductase. A search of GenBank revealed significant nucleotide similarity to a cDNA coding for bovine lung prostaglandin f synthase and to a partial cDNA coding for frog lens rho-crystallin. Southern blot analysis of human genomic DNA displayed between 45 and 65 kilobases of DNA hybridizable to CDR cDNA and demonstrated several restriction fragment length polymorphisms among 26 individuals. Northern blot analysis of RNA from human, gerbil, rabbit, hamster, mouse, and rat livers disclosed hybridization with CDR cDNA only for the first three species.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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